The Government’s consultation process over Post Office closures is ‘nothing more than a pre-determined sham’, Cotswold District Council said today.

A meeting of full Council passed a unanimous motion expressing its total opposition to plans to cut 27 Post Offices in Gloucestershire, including 12 in the Cotswolds.

The motion, proposed by Cllr David Fowles, and seconded by Cllr Margaret Edney, recognises and deplores the impact that the closures will have on the District.

The Council resolved to write to the Rt. Hon John Hutton, MP, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, to express its concern about the effect that the general programme of Post Office closures is having upon the rural community generally and the Cotswolds in particular.

It will also write to Pat McFadden, MP, the Minister for Post Offices, to explain the irreparable damage that the current closure proposals will cause to the social fabric of the many communities affected; and to state that it believes that the consultation process is nothing more than a predetermined sham.

Cllr Fowles, Portfolio holder for Sport, Culture & Enterprise, said after the meeting: “As a Council, we are completely united in our opposition to these plans which will strike at the very heart of our communities.

“The Government is simply not listening. Despite the so-called consultation process, it seems to us that Post Office Ltd has already made its decision and that no amount of protests can stop these swingeing cuts from taking place.

“We will be expressing our concerns and joining with the County Council and other local authorities and organisations in supporting the six Gloucestershire Members of Parliament in their efforts to stop these closures from going ahead across the county.”

The Council also resolved to provide support and encouragement to Cotswold communities threatened by Post Office closures.

The motion also applauded the work already done by CDC officers and others to secure a meeting with Post Office representatives to put the case against the proposed closures, and also the response made as part of the general consultation.

Source: Cotswold District Council